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Google Friend Connect, rejected

Facebook doesn’t like Google Friend Connect, so it blocked this service from accessing Facebook members’ data.

Charlie Cheever says the Friend Connect violates Facebook’s terms of service because it “redistributes user information from Facebook to other developers without users’ knowledge“. So, “we’ve reached out to Google several times about this issue, and hope to work with them to enable users to share their data exactly when and where they choose.

There are several similar initiatives, including Facebook Connect and MySpace Data Availability, to let people reuse the content from their social network profiles in other sites. Every fail is argued with data portability complexity, technical and commercial issues. IMO, there is simply a problem of business. Big social networks like Facebook, MySpace, etc., will never agree to share their users. By implementing a such application, there will be an afflux of users from the big social networks to the smaller sites, just from curiosity or due to the more specific topics.

So, I will be happy to be able to implement in my web sites a data portability system accepted by the social networks, but I will not put too much hopes in the success of a such initiative. The blocking of Google’s Friend Connect by Facebook is just the beginning.

Maybe Google Friend Connect strategy is wrong, and it has to start with the smaller social sites, before convincing the big social networks to use it?

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